Holy Stealth Reboot Batman!
If a rumor broken today by Latino Review turns out to be true, Warner Bros. has plans for Ben Affleck's Batman that go much further than providing a universe-building context around Man of Steel. According to anonymous sources cited by the site, WB is planning a solo Batman film starring the Affleck version of the character for 2019, and the working title for the project is "The Batman".
As always, we should approach this report with a tremendous grain of salt, but the rumored target date of 2019 is key to lending some credibility to it. Just last week, a rumor first reported by Nikki Finke* held that the studio has ambitious plans for seven, interconnected films based on DC properties, starting with a Shazam movie in July, 2016 and ending with the proper Man of Steel 2 in May, 2018, with Justice League planned for the middle in May, 2017. WB supposedly intends to reveal the full plan this summer at San Diego Comic-Con.
Latino Review speculates further that Affleck may even direct his solo Batfilm - they note that negotiations between his team and Warner Bros. took months, possibly because Affleck, now highly regarded as a director, didn't want to be just a handsome face under the cowl. At minimum, the 2019 release date, more than five years after his announced assumption of the role, makes sense if only because it takes into account his commitment to write, direct and star in a period crime film Live By Night, due for release in fall, 2016.
The most interesting thing to my mind is the way this allows for WB to gradually transition audiences from the Christopher Nolan Batverse to whatever this new incarnation of Batman will be, without actually having to let the character lie fallow for several years. In essence, they'll be laying the groundwork for a reboot via the characterization of the Caped Crusader in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, then launching a film after audiences have accepted the new version. Assuming the whole thing doesn't fall apart - say, if the DC Cinematic Universe isn't a monster financial hit on par with the MCU - they get to have their cake and eat it too. Impressive, and I mean that honestly.
Again, take this with a huge grain of salt. Warner Bros. isn't confirming anything for now. But keep a close eye on Escapist during our coverage of SDCC 2014 - we'll let you know as soon as WB makes whatever announcement it has planned.
Source: Latino Review
* it's worth noting that so far anyway, rumors broken on Nikki Finke's new website haven't consistently held up. Steve Martin has denied any knowledge or involvement with a rumored third installment in the Father of The Bride series.This doesn't mean there aren't plans for such a film of course, and it doesn't mean the WB rumors won't turn out to be true, but as always, keep this stuff in mind.